Community Supported Agriculture, Farmer’s Markets, Local Co-op

While speaking to my mother today about the rising price of gasoline, she lives in the country and they have a little drive to get groceries and what not, something occurred to me.  They should consider Community Supported Agricultural or maybe even a Farmers Market in their little town.  They have a Farmers Co-Op, which is a farm supply, and maybe they would consider putting in a co-op for other goods, as well, such as personals hygiene supplies and stuff like that.  Also, many of the people living out there do garden and farm, so they could get together and have their own little Farmer’s Market, right in their town!

One thing is for sure…we need to learn to work together on the community level.  Especially now!  There are several options, but one I became familiar with a few years back was Community Supported Agriculture.

While working in alternative radio, I heard about Community Supported Agriculture, and even talked with some people who offered it.  With the economy tanking, again, and the price of gas going through the roof, it might not be a bad idea!  After all, if you don’t or can’t garden, you could get fresh, local, live food, support someone in your own community, and feel good about all of it!  One of the things to understand about CSA’s is that, at least at most, you get sampling of what is produced…so the veggies vary from week to week.  One of the other things of note is that, like in all businesses, sometimes things happen, and you might get unacceptable produce, no produce one week, or the farm could go under.  There are also farms that raise cattle, pigs, chickens and eggs from which you can purchase a share, as well.  The website Local Harvest has some great info about CSA’s and tell us that in the nine years and the multitude of CSA’s they have listed, they have received only had a handful of complaints per year, so the shared risk seems minimal!  If you are interested, you can search for a CSA in your area at the link above.

So, this year, instead of buying produce shipped in from who knows where, think local…and maybe think about  Community Supported Agriculture…After all, what better way to support your community…and your health!

Healthier bread, anyone?

I love to cook and bake, but time just doesn’t allow much of that.  The weekend gives me a respite.  I cook for my family on Sunday…and it proves to be very therapeutic.  My dad cooks, too, and sent me a recipe for a quick yeast bread from the King Arthur Baking Circle.  The recipe, Moomie’s Beautiful Burger Buns, is a great recipe, no doubt.  Like my dad, though, I take a recipe and tweak it a bit to fit what I need.  I have changed this recipe so much, however, that even Moomie, herself, would not recognize it!  If you are in the market for a great bread recipe, give this a try.  I have used this recipe to make hamburger buns, hot dog buns, regular rolls and bread sticks.  It’s all in how you shape the dough.

1 cup water at 105 degrees

1 Tbs good quality instant or rapid rise yeast (Red Star is my favorite)

1/4 cup plus 1 tsp honey (I always sub honey for sugar, bonus: don’t need as much and makes bread moist!)

1 Tbs milled flax seeds with 3 Tbs water (substitute for any egg in a baking recipe!)

2 to 3 Tbs good quality oil (I use a mixture sometimes of Olive, Canola and Sunflower, but all Olive is good too)

3 to 3 1/4 cups Good quality flour
(My favorite blend: 2 cups unbleached, unbromated all-purpose flour 1 cup Spelt flour, plus extra if needed all purpose)
(There IS a difference in flour!  I use either King Arthur, Hodgson Mill or Bob’s Red Mill)
*You can mix flours, I always do.  Another blend I use with great success are 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup white wheat, 1 cup whole wheat, the balance in all-purpose as needed; I also use 1 1/2 all-purpose and 1 1/2 Spelt.

1 tsp Salt (I use a red salt, Himalayan or from Utah)

1/4 cup Flax Seeds

If you are in a hurry, you can put all ingredients in your bread machine and let the dough cycle run.  Skip to Step 7

If not in a hurry…
Step 1:  In a bowl, add yeast, 1 tsp honey, 1 Tbs yeast, GENTLY mix.  Set aside until foamy

Step 2:  While waiting, mix milled flax seeds with the water, let sit a few minutes.  Then add oil and honey, gently mix together, add rest of warm water…It may separate again before the yeast mixture is foamy, just remix.

Step 3:  Add water mixture from Step 2 to yeast mixture, gently combine.

Step 4:  Sprinkle some of the Flax seeds over the yeast/water mixture then add 1 cup flour, sprinkling of flax seeds, 1 cup flour, Add salt, last of flax seeds, 1 cup of flour.  (You will add in layers to make sure the flax seeds are well distributed.)

Step 5:  Mix till the liquid and dry ingredients come together.  Might still be damp.  If using Spelt, you probably will not need any more flour at this point.  If using all all-purpose, you will need a bit more.

Step 6:  Kneading the dough…
Many of us don’t make bread because we don’t like to knead the dough for 10 minutes and we don’t have or use a bread machine…I am here to the rescue!  If you knead the dough until it comes together and is mostly smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, let it rise until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes, punch it down, knead it for another 2 minutes and let it rise again, you get the same, if not better, results!  After last rise, go to Step 7.

If you want to knead the dough the required 10 minutes, your bread will be done quicker…
Knead, adding flour IF needed, until the dough becomes slightly elastic, 10 minutes.  Oil dough and cover, putting dough in a warm spot until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 7:  Punch down the dough, knead a minute and pinch off balls of dough about the size of a lemon.  Technically, you should get 6 to 8 pieces.  Knead and turn the dough in your fingers, shaping into buns.  Oil the dough on all sides and place on baking sheet.  Let rise another 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 8:  As your buns are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Step 9:  After last rise, bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Finally, remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, and you are ready to eat!

And for the gardeners…

I subscribe to Garden Design Magazine, as much for the beautiful photos as for the information inside.  I currently reside in the city but am a true country girl at heart.  Recently, they posted an interesting idea…an “edible house.”  Take a look for your self here.  This is not the first time I have seen a wall of plants, but the first time I have seen it on this scale…and it is AMAZING!

Another article they had pointed out “winter sowing.”  I have actually never heard of this, but since I live where it snows a lot in the winter, and sometimes it is still too cold into the growing season, this fascinates me.  The article states that winter sowing was invented by Trudi Davidoff (her site is here) and uses little to no equipment…just recyclable plastic containers!  Who wouldn’t want to try that!

With the gardening season on the horizon, we need all the help we can get!  I don’t know about you, but the produce in my local grocery stores is sad, even during the peak gardening season.  Think of the money you could save by growing at least part of the food you eat yourself!  Not only that, but the food would be more alive, hence more nutritious!

My mother lives in the country in the South and she already has plants up.  Of course, they don’t get the kind of winter we get in other parts of the country, but that is all the more reason to think about winter sowing!

If you live in the city and have little to nowhere to garden, you might want to consider an AeroGarden.  My sister bought one for me as a gift and it works wonders!  OR, if you prefer to have a little garden, you might give a hay bale gardening a try.  There are several sites out there that talk about it, but here is a good one

However you decide to get going…get out there and have some fun!

 

Spring, just around the corner…

PLEASE REFER TO THE DISCLAIMER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!

For many of us, especially those in the Midwest and the Northern parts of the country, Spring will be MORE than welcomed.  While the snow is quite beautiful, we would like to see the life come forth from the earth.

Spring is looked at as a time to do a little cleaning…It is just as important to clean our body’s as it is to clean our homes…after all, the body is the temple of the soul!  For those who have never done any internal cleansing at all, I have read that a colon cleanse should be done first…many folks into alternative health say disease starts in an unhealthy colon!

There are several on the market.  A good colon cleanser will contain psyllium, as psyllium is a good soluble fiber that helps to cleanse the colon walls, among other things.  I am sure, by now, we have all heard the story of John Wayne’s colon!  Should someone be in need of a great source for body cleanses, you should check out the book Cleansing or Surgery by Paul and Rachel Revere (yes…Paul and Rachel Revere!) at their website.  One thing you MUST remember is that if you are taking a lot of fiber, you must drink a lot of extra water!

I have done the Kidney and Gallbladder cleanses and can tell you they are amazing…the Gallbladder Cleanse really did save me from surgery!  Someday, I will tell that story, as it is much more spiritual than anything else!!!

The book is very small, but packed with information.  It includes several other cleanses, as well, including the Lemonade diet, which is a master cleanse, and a urinary tract cleanse.  There are also testimonials on the website.  As with all alternative therapies, if you are taking any medications or have any existing medical conditions, be sure to talk with your doctor before pursuing the treatment.  I also encourage everyone to do your own research…don’t just “go with” someone else’s advice unless you know and trust them.

Just a little tip as we sneak up on Spring…Enjoy the beautiful season to come!

Together, My Friend…

If you could ask anything of me, what would it be?  Would it be a quest for information…a favor…or just time to spend in meditation?

We are one…My knowledge is yours…whatever I can do to help you on your journey, I will try to do it.  Time?  We will set some aside to rejuvenate…down to our core.

In your gain, I gain.  If you suffer, I will lend you strength.  We can only get through this journey together, my friend…but we must all try.  It is in the trying that we gain the will to do more, go on, get through…and it is in the “together” that we gain the strength to overcome.  Only through true unity will we be able to rise above…

Soul, Self and Time

I sit in near silence as My Soul and I converse.
Only two faint sounds can be heard.
The clock ticks off the seconds as if running a race,
Its face smirks as if Time thinks it will win.
My heart beat is steady and sure,
feeling no threat from the race with Time.

Its song says to the clock,
“You don’t control me…
You will not push me.”

My Soul and I sit quietly for an instant,
stealing it from Time.
For a brief moment,
Time stands still,
as it looks for what was taken.

My Soul and I just laugh…

Child of Creation

You, my darling, are a beautiful child of creation.  You are perfect.  You are a breathtaking example of immaculate love.  You are exquisite, impeccable, superb.

Do not pay heed to those who would cause you to doubt who you really are, for they have not yet embraced themselves.  Do not wish them harm, but pray for them.

Be still, my child, and know that you are adored…not for who you might be, but for who you are…now!

You possess the grace and beauty of your Mother, the strength and courage of your Father and the faith and wisdom of both.  Let their light shine forth from you…No one can take that.  You are encompassed by, and encompass, all of Creation.  You are the one you are waiting for…go forth, my child, and bless the world, for you are Magnificent!

My Prayer for the Day

Let my “work” today be the work of our Creator.  Let my being exude Divine love, joy, enlightenment.  Let me be a conduit for the works of our Blessed Creator.

Let my own soul awaken, as well, to the joys of knowing the only thing that gives enlightenment; a closer relationship with Our Divine Creator.  Let all my sisters and brothers feel this joy.

May all our time here today be precious and uplifting for ourselves and for others.  Guide our thoughts and deeds and help us recognize your guidance every minute.

Thank you for:

this life, the people around me, the people I will encounter in person, on the phone and in spirit.

this day and the will to move through it.

the sustenance, both spiritual and physical.

always believing in me and helping me to learn to believe in myself.

guiding me to the way of peaceful thought and life and giving me the strength to pursue it.

your unending support, today and always.

your steady stream of unending blessings.

always being within me.

Be with all my sisters and brothers, those who understand and those who don’t.

Help all of us work together for perfect peace!  So be it!

Turtle Wisdom

Turtle Wisdom

This is a time of great change.
This is a time of coming together.
This is the time for all relations to remember,
who and where we come from.

For many years I have walked across this great Turtle Island, seeking the wisdom’s and lessons of my relations.
Always I have listened to and followed the path of the Creator, and in this, I have and continue to be blessed. Now I feel it is time to share that which I have learned with those who will hear. Not because I have learned all that can be taught, (if I lived to be 1000 years old there would still be more left unlearned at my time of passing than all I could hope to learn in this momentary existence called life), but because I see a great capacity for our race to heal or destroy that which sustains us. We stand at this moment upon a crossroads, the path we choose to take will determine not only our own life, but the lives of every living thing that shares this earth we call home.

It is time to open your eyes, look around you, see your relations, understand your connection to the true family, the “One Family”. We must find the courage to see through the Hate, Jealousy, and apathy that has silently filled our lives. There is no enemy that sits at your doorstep except those you choose to create. It is always within your power to make peace with your relations, to find compassion and empathy for those you see now as less than you.

Look beyond yourselves, see the needs of your brothers and sisters, do not deny aid to those around you. Bring them gifts of love, understanding, compassion.

Teach all that you meet to see the beauty of life, not in words, but in actions, words are no more than a leaf on the wind, which passes before us then is gone. It is the walk we walk that remains in ones heart. If we give love, if we offer help to those in need, then we give lasting hope, and the courage to meet one’s own destiny. No one is alone, all actions good or bad continue onward.

Do not live your life by the words of others, or determine your worth by the things you possess. There is no possession that remains, all things pass. Only you can change what is within, there is no material thing that can make you what you are. If you are unhappy, then look within yourself, make peace with your own fears. Do not strike out at another for that which you create.

Walk in honor, pray always, give thanks in all things. Know that you are the creator of your life, and that what you give is returned to you in kind. Look around you, see the beauty of creation as it is meant to be, understand that life does not happen as you choose, but as it should be.

Join with others sing the songs of thanks and blessings even in the darkest of times. There can be no beauty within your heart if you do not choose to see it with your eyes, and hear it with your ears or speak it with your mouth.

You determine your walk, and strength of spirit, if you are weak it is because you choose to be, if you cannot see the rainbow of life within yourself it is because you choose the darkness. Your strength comes from the bond you share with all your relations, the creator has made it so.

Do not forget where you have come from, remember the connection you share, draw strength from the great web of life.

Welcome those who will come to you in need, give freely of your heart mind and spirit.
Together we are strong and our beauty is shared throughout the universe as the light of creation.

Make your life a walk of love. In this, you will always honor the Creator.

P. M. Walkinturtle

© Copyright 2010 P. M. Walkinturtle (UN: walkinturtle at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Shall We Stand

Shall We Stand

In my vision there is a great crossing, a crossing so immense that one can not see from end to end. It is here that i stand, a barren, dry, brown land. The wind gathers up the dust of ages long forgotton and tosses them to the heavens where they once again begin their descent to join those who wait. My flesh tingling from the tiny grains rushing past me as if they too know the time is nigh. The ancestors voices call, they say to me… now we stand with you upon the crossroads of destiny! We call to the great mystery to guide you, so that you may honor that which has been given freely! I say to the ancestors, which direction shall i take, as there are four in which to choose..each the same as the other as far as i can see? There is silence. I turn my gaze to the crossroads  before me, cutting through the barren land like great scars upon the earth.

“listen!” i hear the ancestors say. As i listen a sound seems to reach out from a great distance… the sound low and far away at first …becomes clearer as if the sound were moving toward me. I face in the direction of the sound and I see a great black sky, as if no stars had ever touched its depths.. as i looked closer a small white orb began to grow from the center of the void… then before me stood a great white buffalo, is body bruised and bloody it stood crying with a thousand different voices… sounds of pain and suffering as if the whole of all living things were within the sound. As i watched the buffalo stumbled and bent on one knee struggled most valiantly to stand. His eyes meeting mine held the pain of all creation, and the morning cries of all those who had suffered at the hands of injustice and cruelty. I tried to turn from the sight not wanting to witness the terrible agony of those who cried out! The ancestors began to cry.. wailing as if in morning, they sang a song of death and destruction as i watched the buffalo slowly turn toward the darkness, the voices becoming silent as the great beast stepped within the void and was gone. I not able to bear the sight and sounds which had assaulted my whole being sank to the stark lifeless earth..covering my eyes i began to cry… my tears ran like the river that flows after the storm..rushing forward down my cheeks and falling upon the earth, small darkened spots which at first simply lay on the earth in tiny pools of crystal shimmering light reflected by the sun, soon began to grow. I knelt for some time, letting the tears of anguish, hatred, fear, and death flow freely, and as my tears began to wane i could hear the ancestors song had changed… now they sang a new song.. and with the song came a smell..like that of a morning shower, and sounds like that of birds singing within the trees.

I thought this strange…that there should be birds singing and the smell of a fresh rain shower where just moments ago there was so much pain and anguish…. as i began to open my eyes I felt the caress of a gentle breeze as it lifted my hair upon the air current i reached my hand to grasp the lock of hair and stood amazed… before me no longer existed a barren and hopeless landscape..devoid of life and bereft of humanity.. now before me stood many people.. all colors and all nations… with many different voices.. each sang a different song.. and the vibrations of the many voices began to reverberate within the earth itself. I looked toward the ancestors and asked ” who are these people with many voices, and what is it they are saying?” The ancestors said,” these are those who wait..” I asked, “what do they wait for?” A single voice spoke saying.. “they wait for you and your kind… to make the last choice”

I looked toward the multitude of people as they began to step one and then the other to the right side of me or the left side of me… When they had finished i saw that there were many more on the the left and asked.. “why are there so many to one side and so few to the other?” The one voice replied ” this is the time of imbalance, those who have been and who have chosen now wait”

I asked, “How can balance be once again achieved?”, answering the voice said ” now is the time of reckoning, the crossroads of mankind stretches out before you, now comes the second choice..that of destiny” saying this the voice once again joined in the song of the ancestors.

As i listened i heard voices begin to sing behind me..and turning i saw an even greater number of humanity walking toward me and the crossroads. As they approached they smiled and began singing but the song was too low and i could not hear their words… as they passed to either side of me there was a smell of sage and cedar and i felt the air itself become lighter. I watched them pass thinking that they would join the others across the roads but as they approached the crossroads they stopped fell silent.

The ancestors also ceased in their prayers and stood motionless all became silent. “what has happened?” I asked, my voice sounded small, and fragile in the cold silence that enveloped the crossroads like a blanket of winter snow. A voice to my left, spoke startling me at first saying, “they like you stand upon the crossroads of destiny! Those who stand upon the other side have made their choice as to which way they will go… there deeds are done for good or ill there is no difference, for each of us must fulfill our own destiny to complete the hoop.. Those who stand with you before the crossroads are those who must like you also choose the path that lies within your hearts. It is your age that will determine the worth of mankind and his future.” “but what about the buffalo? Why is he dying? Why do the voices within him cry out in pain? i asked remembering how the cries had echoed within my heart causing me to despair.

“The buffalo” the voice said, ” represents the age of the current cycle, he is dying and must return to the place of creation so that a new age can be born, the voices of pain for which you yourself suffer are the pains of purification and rebirth” “All must suffer in this, but it will be short lived for the heavens and the great mystery have made it so, and with the new age will be a new earth.”

“Each one must stand upon this crossroad, each one must choose. The destiny of one is the destiny of all.”

walkinturtle

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.